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What is embezzlement?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | marijuana businesses

With serious criminal offenses, it’s usually the most violent crimes that take up most of the headlines. While this is understandable, there is a different bracket of crimes that can also result in severe penalties.

White collar crimes may not involve violent behavior, but they are taken very seriously by law enforcement. These crimes are financially motivated and can be committed against individuals, businesses or state bodies.

Embezzlement is a type of white collar crime that consists of an individual appropriating another’s assets and using them for their own gain. Read on to find out more about the crime of embezzlement in California.

A position of trust

What makes embezzlement unique is that the accused is generally in a position of trust. For instance, they may be a manager of a store that has access to all of the accounts and the safe. They are paid to take on these financial responsibilities and act in the best interests of the company. One way embezzlement could occur is if the manager underreports daily takings and siphons the excess money into their own account or pockets.

What does the law say?

The definition of embezzlement in California is outlined in the California Penal Code (CPC) §503. It is defined as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted”.

Embezzlement can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor offense, and this is reflected in the potential penalties. For a misdemeanor charge, a person may face up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. Felony convictions for embezzlement can result in a prison term of up to 3 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Facing white collar charges such as embezzlement is a serious matter and should be treated as such. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you have legal guidance to protect your rights.